Vinyl Flooring Versus Linoleum

For a long time vinyl flooring was considered the poor cousin to carpet, laminate flooring and tiles; as many people think of vinyl flooring as being the old linoleum type of flooring that their grandparents had down in their kitchen, and admittedly a lot of old linoleum floors were of poor quality.

The name linoleum used to be a trademarked term but is now a generic term and has been abbreviated over the years to “lino”, which is a term people often use when talking about vinyl.

However vinyl is actually very different to linoleum in its manufacture as it is made of polyvinyl chloride, and hence the name has also been abbreviated to “vinyl”. Lino is as such no longer made, although widespread use of the name still exists.

Modern vinyl flooring is substantially different from the old Lino floors produced in the 1950s, in that it is now highly fade resistant and will not begin to fade in the sun or from continual mopping as the older floors did.

Also the modern vinyl variants do not tend to go brittle and crack like the older Lino floors; this means they can be easily replaced by simply rolling them up, whereas many of the older floorings became stuck to the sub-base over a period of time and required substantial effort to remove them.

Indeed this problem can become so bad over a long period of time that if you find it on the floor in an old house and it has been down since the 1950s then it is often easier to just cover it with underlay and carpet over it rather than try and remove it.

Modern vinyl flooring will also not crack. Although being made from a softer construction than Lino, it will scratch easier than Lino, as the latter was almost a rigid form of flooring and had a much tougher surface. Indeed so much so in that in America it was once known as “Battleship Linoleum” as it was used on the decks of battleships instead of wood, however this was changed after Pearl harbour as it was clear that the flooring was highly flammable. However it illustrates how tough linoleum was.

Due to the way it is made, vinyl flooring now wins every time as it is far easier to produce in a wide range of colours and even add different textures to its surface.

The Right Ladder For The Right Job

Ladders of various types are in just about every home and work place. There are extension ladders, step ladders, rolling ladders, fixed steel ladders, work platforms and different types of specialty ladders to fit specific needs.

Extension ladders are commonly know among everyone. Most of the extension ladders are made of aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminum ladders offer lighter weights which make them easier to use for the average person. Most extension ladders come in heights ranging from 16 – 60 feet, and weight capacities of 250 – 375 pounds. The weight capacity rating can be a bit miss leading considering most of the best quality ladders like Werner ladders are test to four times the stated capacity. Fiberglass extension ladders are the option you want to choose if you are going to be doing electrical work or working near electrical sources. The fiberglass frame will not conduct electricity keeping the user safer from electrical injuries. Another feature that is a plus in extension ladders are “D” rungs. This means the top side of the rungs are flat. This gives the user more secure footing while climbing up and down the ladder.

Step ladders are another common ladder, however can offer many extra features most people may not think of. The standard design of a step ladder is pretty much universal. But you can get them with a top that is designed to hold various tools. When you are working from a step ladder to install a light, paint or any other task you need this ladder for, it can be cumbersome to have to hold onto all the tools you will need. There are step ladders designed for different types of task. Some have top steps designed to hold painting tools such as brushes and tape. Others are designed to hold screw drivers, electric screw guns, pliers and other hand tools. This feature can make any job much easier and working from the ladder much safer.

When it comes to rolling ladders there are several styles that fit in this category. There are basic rolling safety ladders. This style of ladder looks much like a stairway on wheels with a hand rail going up the stairs and around the top platform. Most come with standard stair depths of 7 or 10 inches and a top platform of 14 inches. Most manufacturers offer deeper top platforms if you need extra room to work from the ladder. Rolling safety ladders also come in an easy climb model. These ladders are made with steps that are at a 48 or 50 degree slope to the step. This enables the user to more easily and safely use the ladder without the use of the handrail. This type ladder is worth the extra cost if you will be using the ladder to carry boxes or other items up and down from shelves. Another type of rolling ladder is a fold and store. This type of rolling ladder is very similar to a standard safety ladder. The main difference is this style ladder can be folded down so that it can be more easily moved or stored in less space. Rolling ladders commonly come in 1 – 15 step models. Most of these ladders are made with the steps 10 inches apart. Therefore a 10 step ladder would have a top platform height of 100 inches. Other step models work the same for figuring the height of ladder you may need. Another type of rolling ladder is the rolling work platform. This style can be single and double entry. This type of ladder is used when you will be spending extended time on the ladder working on equipment or other task that require more standing space to work safely. This style of ladder usually come in models from 3 to 6 steps.

Fixed steel ladders are usually used on the outside of commercial buildings, and other permanent structures to allow access to the roof. These are pretty basic ladders, however there are several things to keep in mind with fixed steel ladders. First is keeping unwanted users from accessing the ladder. There are options of security doors and locking panels for them to secure access to the ladder. Another option for this style of ladder is a safety cage. This is mounted to the fixed steel ladder to add safety to the user. It stops the person climbing the ladder from falling backward off the ladder. Another option is a top walk-through, this provides a handle at the top on each side of the ladder to help the user remain stable while stepping off the ladder at the top. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a ladder height is that OSHA requires a step off platform for ladders over 20 feet or every 20 feet of climbing height. You can order these step off platforms at the same time you order the fixed steel ladder.

There are several ladders that fall under the category of specialty ladders to fit specific task. One of these ladders is a hook top ladder or also known as a drop down ladder. This ladder is made with hooks at the top and look very similar to a fixed steel ladder. This is the type of ladder to use when you need to climb up a wall or a tank. It enables the user to hook over the top and easily access the work area. Another style of common specialty ladder is a tank top ladder. This is very similar to the rolling ladder with the exception it has a top platform that extends out from the top. It is designed for the user to be able to move out over the top of semi truck trailers to access or work on the top.

As you can see there are many options in ladders. It is best if you have a special need or not sure what type of ladder would best fit your needs consult a ladder specialist that can provide you with guidance to get the right ladder to fit your needs and budget.

Building Stairs With A Platform Or Landing

When Designing stairs with a platform or landing in the middle, a common mistake is to first build a landing at an arbitrary level, then design and build the upper and lower staircases. Ninety-five percent of the time this results in the upper and lower staircases having noticeably different geometry. By analyzing your entire staircase first, then building your platform at the correct level, you will end up with matching flights.

First of all, let me say that stair-building is one of the most complicated aspects of carpentry (or ironwork), so DON’T RUSH. Rushing usually results in poor results and wasted lumber.

In summary, here are the steps (no pun intended) …

DESIGN A PHANTOM SET OF STAIRS FOR THE ENTIRE RISE (IGNORING THE PLATFORM)

CALCULATE A Rise Per Step THAT MEETS LOCAL CODE (e.g. 7 1/8)

BUILD A PLATFORM AT ONE OF THE STEP LEVELS (e.g. 21 3/8)

DESIGN THE UPPER FLIGHT, USING THE SAME Rise Per Step AS THE PHANTOM STAIRCASE

DESIGN THE LOWER FLIGHT, USING THE SAME Rise Per Step AND Run Per Step AS THE UPPER STAIRCASE

NOW YOU HAVE TWO FLIGHTS WITH MATCHING GEOMETRY, MAKING A COMPOUND STAIRCASE

In greater detail …

Most importantly, you want the Rise Per Step for both the top and bottom flights to be the same. Your local building code probably requires this, and even regardless of code, the stairs will look and feel better if Rise Per Step, Run Per Step and all the other figures are the same for both flights.

In order to ensure that you have equal Rise Per Step on both flights, first design a phantom set of stairs using your total Overall Rise like you’re making one long set of stairs instead of breaking it in two. (You don’t really need to worry about the Overall Run at this point.) Take your Overall Rise and divide it by your local building code maximum Rise Per Step (7-1/2 inches is a common value.) This tells you the number of steps you will need. Since you can’t have a fraction of a step, round this number up to get an integer, then divided your Overall Rise by this new number to get your calculated Rise Per Step.

Here’s an example:

84.5 Overall Rise

7.5 Building Code Maximum Rise Per Step

divide 84.5 by 7.5 = 11.27

11.27 is the ideal number of steps

round up to 12 full steps

now divide 84.5 by 12

7.04 this is your calculated Rise Per Step

You can now build a platform or landing for your compound staircase at a multiple of 7.04 inches, and both the upper and lower flights will have the same Rise Per Step. For example, if you build the platform at 21.12 inches (3 x 7.04), it would be three steps up from the bottom. If you build it at 35.20 inches, it will be five steps from the bottom.

Now, since the upper flight usually has space constraints, and the lower flight usually doesn’t, design your upper flight first. Use the same process for the Upper Overall Rise and you should end up with the same Rise Per Step (7.04). Calculate your Run Per Step and make sure to include some overhang for the treads. (I’ve developed a staircase calculator for this at: http://www.Shalla.Net .) Now use these same Rise Per Step, Run Per Step, Tread Size, and Tread Overhang to design your lower flight. Your upper and lower flights will now have matching geometry.

The key point here is that you have to build your platform at the right level in order to have matching upper and lower flights.

How to Install a Stair Lift

Ladder elevators can be a nice addition to the home to enhance accessibility. If the home has relatives or friends who are not able to move about the stairs easily, stair lifts are a good choice for this purpose. These days, it is extremely easy to install stair lifts and here are a few tips to get started.

Many Advantages
These days, installing stair lifts in the home is an easy task and with it comes the pride and assurance that the home is accessible for everyone. Even persons with lesser degree of mobility will be able to navigate the home at their leisure and comfort levels.

Easy Installation
Once the most appropriate stair lift has been chosen and, which fits the width of the stairs, installation is needed. Many people get intimidated by the installation process but the fact is that it is very easy. The only tools you need are a hammer, screwdriver, level and the kit. It is very important to consult with the owner's manual in the kit before starting the installation but in general the basic installation steps are quite generic.

Three Carriers
The stair lifts typically come with three carriers namely one going on the top of stairs, one at the bottom and one at the middle.

Cable
Typically, the stair lifts come along with cables, which allow the lift to come back to the ladder bottom once it reaches the top of the stair. This is a special kind of power cord, right through the ring, placed against the wall and runs from the top to the bottom of the stair lift.

Installing And Seat Path
The next stage is the actual installation as well as placing the seat path to the track. The seat needs to be attached in between two tracks, which were available with the kit. The top of this seat should be attached to the top of the track and proper screws should be fastened to hold the seat in place. Then, the track combination should be set appropriately to connect brackets, which attach to the steps of the stairway. The track needs to be in level so the seat is not in a blocked position. Once the ladder path is set, the elevator screw of the ladder is placed into the track with the appropriate screws.

Pulley
The ladder stair lift comes equipped with a pulley, which helps move the chair down and up across the stairway. The chain should be installed at the middle of the runway right at the center. You need to slide the pulley in forward as well as backward directions with ease.

Cord
The cord is critical to successful installation of the stair lift because it powers the elevator. This power cord has to be fed through a specific slot inside the track, which is specifically designed for this cable. Once the cord is fed through, the power cord needs to be connected to the ramp bottom and then to the outlet.

City Dog Walking Advice

City dog walking requires 360 degree awareness at all times

Dogs love cities! What they lose in wide open space is made up for in the volume of sights, sounds and smells which envelop a dog during their time outside. Many owners who have moved their suburban or rural dog to the city have found that they develop a new level of confidence, both with other dogs and with people.

But with this stimulation comes the potential for mishap. Walking your dog in the city demands your utmost care and attention at all times. It’s a good idea to bear a few things in mind during a city dog walk:

Never unleash your dog on a city street

For most people, this is common sense — yet it’s surprising how many dog owners think it’s no big deal to walk their dog off leash in the city. Such people will tell you that their dog “would never do anything crazy”, but the simple truth is that all dogs have the potential to react unpredictably when provoked or startled. Here’s why you should never walk your dog unleashed on city streets:

    In most cities, it’s against the law and subject to a fine.
    Sudden loud noises like truck horns can startle a dog and cause them to bolt.
    An approaching unleashed dog can be interpreted as a threat to a leashed dog and can create tensions and possible physical conflict.
    It’s not possible to steer an unleashed dog away from hazards and obstacles they may not be aware of.
    For people who are afraid of dogs, an approaching dog off the leash — even a small dog — can be a terrifying experience. Such people need to see that you have full control over your pet.
    If your dog causes an accident while unleashed, you’re going to pay through the nose!
    If anything should happen to your dog as a result, you’ll never forgive yourself.

Scan the sidewalk ahead of you at all times

There are many hazards on city sidewalks which mean that you should never take your eye off them, in much the same way as you should never take your eye off the road when driving.

Sidewalk snacks are the most common — always do your best to steer your dog away from them. Chicken bones are plentiful in areas that have a lot of fast food establishments, as are pizza crusts. Dogs love both! But chicken bones can splinter in the intestines and everything else carries with it the risk of bacteria and food poisoning. If your dog looks for food obsessively it may be a good idea to walk them with a collar instead of a harness, as a collar attachment makes it easier for you to move their head away quickly from anything they might eat.

Broken glass is a problem for dogs in the city and it’s for this reason among others that many urban dog owners have their dogs wear booties outside. Large pieces of glass can cause serious lacerations in paws, and smaller pieces can become embedded in pads and lead to infections. If you suspect that your dog has walked across broken glass then be sure to stop and check their paws there and then — don’t leave it until you get home.

Sidewalk scanning is a skill that develops in time for the city dog walker. You’ll do it without thinking after a while. Just remember — you are the extra pair of eyes your dog needs!

Avoid using retractable leashes on city streets

Although retractable leashes are very popular among dog owners and great for certain environments, they are not always such a good idea for city dog walking. First and foremost — even though it is very rare, the locking mechanism on such leashes has been known to fail. This can be a terrifying experience if your dog is trotting ahead towards a busy intersection and you need them to stop. To compound matters, most retractable leashes consist of a thin line which will burn your hand if you ever need to grab it and pull in such a situation. Besides which, the added length and freedom which these leashes give you is moot in a busy urban environment in which you really need to keep your dog on a relatively short leash and near you at all times. Another disadvantage is that you can’t wrap them two or three times around your hand like you can with a regular leash — and that’s something which adds an invaluable extra layer of security.

Keep your dog close when crossing busy roads

A short leash and full control is absolutely essential when crossing roads with your dog in the city. When waiting to cross, insist that they sit right by you on the curb and not on the road or in the gutter. When crossing at an intersection which allows cars to make turns onto the crosswalk, be aware that many drivers either cannot see your dog or aren’t looking out for one anyway, so make sure your dog stays away from moving wheels! Drivers are often impatient in the city and like to edge their way through crossing pedestrians with the smallest of margins when turning. If your dog is walking slightly behind you it’s so easy for them to be caught up in the wheels of a turning car.

Never let your dog spray lampposts or scaffold

Dogs love to pee on anything vertical — but just make sure you avoid anything that carries the potential for stray currents, as dogs can and do get electrocuted in such situations. In New York City for example, many lampposts are badly maintained with open hatches at the bottom — and sometimes even live wires protruding. Similarly, sidewalk scaffold can in rare cases lead to electrocution as current strays from faulty overhead lighting into the steel poles.

Approach other dogs with caution

Dogs live to socialize. In the course of a 30 minute dog walk in a busy urban area it’s not uncommon to pass ten dogs or more — and if your dog’s friendly, they’re going to want to do a meet and greet with them all! But never assume that the other dog is friendly. It’s good practice to ask the owner “is your dog friendly” before letting them meet — unfortunately, some dogs aren’t.

Once you have the go-ahead, never be tempted to let go of the leash even if they insist on circling each other. It’s tempting to do this to avoid leashes becoming entangled, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Leashes can always be untangled safely.

A little horseplay is fine, but try not to let them get too excited while wrestling because in rare cases two leash fasteners can clash in certain positions and unhook themselves. It has been known! The last thing you want during a period of such excitement is for your dog to become unleashed.

Take great care with dogs around elevators

If you take your dog into elevators on a regular basis then always make sure they stay right by your side. Never let your dog run into an elevator well ahead of you, and similarly never let them run out ahead or behind you. If the elevator door is faulty and closes suddenly with you on one side and the dog on the other — well, it doesn’t even bear thinking about! Bear in mind that this can and has happened. It’s also important to keep your dog on a short leash right beside you when traveling in an elevator, since you never know who’s on the other side of the doors when they open. If it’s another dog and they startle each other, a melee could ensue!

All in all, city streets are like Disneyland for many dogs. They’re a cacophony of sensual stimulation and socialization. The most important thing to remember is that city dog walking is something to be enjoyed — with caution!

Laminate Flooring Advantages and Disadvantages

Most Americans have no idea what laminate flooring is, although they are often aware of Pergo flooring. Well, Pergo is to laminate floorings what Kleenex is to facial tissues. As the first company to create this type of flooring and sell it in the United States, their name has become synonymous with laminate flooring in the minds of many consumers. That being said, there are over 30 other brands of this type of flooring available as well.

Laminate flooring is typically made up of three separate layers: a tough aluminum oxide wear layer with a photograph of wood, stone, or brick adhered to the underside of it; a core or "carrier" usually made of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) which is a processed wood product that is very moisture resistant; and a final layer of plastic laminate backing to seal the entire piece against moisture and potential pests.

Laminate flooring is a cost-effective and easy to care for alternative to genuine wood or stone surfaces. Being more tolerant to moisture, it can more readily be used in bathrooms or other areas where moisture may pose problems for other flooring materials – as long as the manufacturer's warranty includes moisture coverage. Because of its simple tongue and groove attachment pattern, it can be utilized in virtually any room of the house, provided that there is a concrete, plywood, or other firm floor surface below it.

Laminate floors do not stain, fade, dent, or warp like real hardwood floors, although they have a similar cost. They also often include lifetime warranties against most problems and defects. If your home has significant foot traffic (including children and / or pets) then a laminate floor will hold up much better than a comparable wood or even tile floor, and be considerably less expensive than stone flooring materials.

If you have a lot of traffic in your home and plan to stay there for some time, laminate flooring may prove to be the best value for your money because of its long life, durability and excellent warranty coverage. It is not the least expensive flooring option, so it is always important to weigh the costs and features against your needs. If you want the look of hardwood but have a sub-floor that is incompatible with real hardwood floors, laminate flooring may be the choice for you!

Tips & Trends – Holiday 2008 Color

The holidays, sigh, are perhaps the most exciting – yet, hectic time of year. Attempting to squeeze in holiday shopping between turkey dinners, work, and the endless list of parties can be a bit trying. So, for a touch of inspiration, here's a list of some colorfully inspired ideas (pun intended!) And where to buy.

I'm aiming to suggest the ideal gift, a few stocking stuffers, a gift set idea and some new favorites. It can not hurt to buy yourself something nice, too.

Go Green

With talk of climate change and carbon foot prints, 2008 is the year to go green. There's certainly no shortage of all natural or organic beauty products lately. But my favorite for the year is Greek-based Korres Natural Products – specifically the hair care line.

Taking homeopathy to a new level, Korres offer shampoos, conditioners and treatments that use interesting herbal combinations to address common hair concerns. For daily usage there's Aloe and Soapwart, Acacia Milk for dry hair, Sage and Nettle for intense cleansing, and Sunflower with Vitamin F for color treated locks. These higher-end products make for perfect stocking stuffers, or could even be a personalized gift set.

New Favorites: Juniper and Olive Tree Shampoo, Achillea Conditioner
Stocking Stuffers: Green Silt and Coralina Oligoelements Hair and Scalp Scrub, Yucca Soft Shine Wax

Where to Buy: Folica.com, Tobi.com

Pomegranate Red

Pomegranate is still the 'it' ingredient. A miracle fruit chock full of Vitamin C and antioxidants, these red fruits may just be the secret to eternal beauty. This makes pomegranate-infused products a perfect present for those youthful spirits in your life. BORBA regenerates skin's appearance with a full line of moisturizers, makeup and vitamin-rich powders to clarify and improve complexion.

The BORBA Clarifying collection uses pomegranate and cotton fiber to both clarify and replenish skin, using antioxidants to balance skin. Featuring facial cleansers and treatments for day, night or oil-control, this BORBA collection has something for everyone. Including enriched lip tints or bio-vitamin powder packets for beautifying skin on the go.

Stocking Stuffer: BORBA Nutraceuticals Lip Tint – Soft Kiss or Divine
Perfect Gift Set: Pomegranate & Cotton Fiber Complexion Perfecting Treatments

Where to Buy: Folica.com, Beautysak.com

Karma Chameleon

Hair styling can be a tedious process. However, there's a new kid in town. I've seen a few articles about the Chameleon 5 in 1 Advanced Hair Styler, and it seems to get a lot of positive reviews. Here's my two cents – this is the perfect present for any tween or college student, as well as the seasoned hair obsessed fashion plate.

Not only does Chameleon have a fascinating prismatic design, but so far, I've managed to see it create every possible style. From the makers of Sedu and Solia, Chameleon uses the new mineral plate technology plus ceramic and tourmaline to provide even temperatures without causing damage. Plus it has variable temperature settings and a one-year warranty.

Ideal Gift: Chameleon 5 in 1 Advanced Hair Styler

Where to Buy: Only available at Folica

Hazy Shade of …

It's never been a big secret that hair color can fade between trips to the salon. To fight against fading, celebrity stylist Ken Paves created Healthy Hair Boost Up Color Drops to enhance color and sheen while strengthening color treated strands with wheat and soy proteins. Added UV protection and humectants keep hair moist and conditioned protecting it from further damage.

With six shades, the Color Drops mix right into your conditioner, so you control how much drama to add. Plus, since the drops fade with the next washing it's easy for you to rejuvenate your color on a daily basis.

New Favorites: Ken Paves Healthy Hair Boost Up Color Drops

Where to Buy: Folica.com, Hair Boutique.com

Paint the Season Red

Winter weather seems to make people dreary, and it wreaks havoc on nails. Personally, I think it's a great time to spice up dark clothes with a touch of bright nail color. Try China Glaze nail lacquers as a winter accessory or stocking stuffer, with pinks, reds, purples and everything in between. The line features cuticle gel, calcium fortifier, nail strengthener, top coat and lacquer complete with hardeners for quick-drying and durability.

China Glaze nail lacquer is a petite present guaranteed to add some joy to the holidays, or perk up a party dress.

Stocking Stuffer: China Glaze Nail Lacquer with Hardeners

Where to Buy: Folica.com, NailSpaSupply.com

Is Private Clamping Legal?

Private clampers certainly make carrying out courier jobs that little bit harder, as you struggle against the clock to deliver a parcel, all the while praying that the clampers don’t spot your white van parked on their private driveway or office block car park. However, it has recently emerged that private wheel clamping could very well be illegal and, under UK law, an infringement of our human rights.

According to the RAC, the clamping of cars by private companies could be an infringement of the 1998 Human Rights Act. The motoring organisation says that the fines charged by private individuals are usually exorbitant and unjustifiable. The fines for parking on private land are also demanded without any type of legal process and this is something that the RAC would like to see changed. The changes would certainly help people with courier jobs, as there is nothing worse than returning from a delivery to find a large yellow wheel clamp placed on your beloved van.

The move comes after the launch of a Daily Mail campaign to demand that the government strengthens regulations on private wheel clamping and ultimately makes it illegal, as it is in Scotland. Once the newspaper introduced the campaign it was simply inundated with stories of unjust instances of car clamping. A man on a courier job who found his van clamped after delivering some documents, made the headlines when he took a sledgehammer to the clamp and broke it off himself to avoid paying the exorbitant fine and another man found his car clamped after popping into a private office block to pay off his girlfriend’s wheel clamp fee. The price charged by private individuals doesn’t seem to be in any way consistent. Whilst some people have reported having to pay £75.00 fine to free a car from the car park of an office block, another woman wrote into the paper describing how she had to pay a £375.00 fee.

So how exactly is wheel clamping illegal? Chris Elliott, a barrister for the RAC, argues that the concept of one citizen punishing another is alien in English law and that the purpose of clamping is simply to prevent a vehicle being on private land without permission. Therefore, Chris argues, clamping is perverse as it perpetuates the harm caused to the landowner which is ultimately a self-inflicted wound. The only tactic is to punish or deter, both of which have no foundation in English law. This is because they are based on a notion that one person cannot punish another and that punishment is a power reserved solely for the State. There are further arguments by barristers that the practice of clamping is also contradictory to protocol 1 of the Human Rights Law, which states that every person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions and should not be deprived of them, unless in accordance with English law.

The Home Office is in the midst of proposing a new licensing regime for private clampers. However, with arguments that the very action of depriving people of their vehicle is illegal, it seems unlikely that the changes will now go ahead. With the RAC strongly arguing the legal elements of clamping, it seems extremely likely that the very act of private wheel clamping will be made illegal. And for us in courier jobs, it’s certainly a case of the sooner, the better.

Is it Time For a New Roof?

It can be hard for Portland homeowners and property managers to know when they need a new roof in OR. Of course, sometimes it is very obvious that you need to hire a roofing contractor in Portland or elsewhere. If a tree falls on it, then getting a new roof is a no-brainer.

Other times, though, the signs that you need repairs or new roof installation services can be hard to spot. Hiring a reliable roofing contractor who provides inspections, installations, and roof repair in Portland, though, will help you keep your roof in the best condition.

Getting New Roof Services From a Portland, OR Contractor

If you talk to some national chains, they will treat you just like any other customer. To them, roofing in Portland OR is no different than in San Antonio, Miami, Chicago or any other city.

In hiring a new roof contractor in Oregon you will have a professional who understands specific roofing needs that are unique to Portland's climate and aesthetic taste. The more experience a contractor has installing new roofs in Portland, the more they will know about the right products and services for your building.

Roof Repair and New Roofs in Portland – Get a Roof Inspection

You will want to hire an Oregon roofing company that can give you an accurate inspection before they throw out a sales pitch and try to sell you on a new roof. It is best to ask your prospective roofing contractor to provide tangible proof that any parts of the roof might need to be replaced.

Qualified A roofing contractor in Portland can discuss your options and alternatives for a new roof. Ask them to describe the differences in custom metal, shingle, flat roofing and tile products. Those who tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each type of residential and roofing supplies are probably more interested in providing a product that will work best for you, instead of just making money on your misfortune.

Home Insurance Money for a New Roof or Roof Repair in Portland Oregon

If the professional Portland roofing contractor who inspects your roof recommends repairs or maybe even a new roof, then you should research your payment options. Many homeowner's insurance policies cover the cost of hiring a Portland roofing contractor to fix or replace damaged parts of the home's roof.

Ask your prospective roofing contractor for a price quote before you install a new roof. Your Oregon roofing contractor can prepare detailed pricing information that you can keep for insurance records. In the process, you can decide which Portland OR roofing contractors offer competitive pricing.

Stylish Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials

Your roof is an important part of your home appearance, durability and maintains the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions such as strong winds, rain, cold, sunlight, heat, snow and sleet. Today, people are also looking at the environment aspect of their home improvements by preferring Eco-friendly materials, which can complicate the process of choosing roofing material even further. Your roofing preferences have great effect on other home aspects such as cooling, heating, durability and maintenance. If you intend to install an Eco-friendly roof on your house you can choose from various materials and colors. The materials have different features, durability and cost enabling you to choose based on your preferences.

Eco-friendly roofing materials that you should use on your home:

Recycled Shingles

These are some of the most popular eco-friendly roofing materials and arguable the greenest. They are created from recycled waste materials like wood fiber, rubber and plastic. A majority of these materials come from clean consumer waste and industrial waste. The recycled shingles have a nice appearance and are very durable. The benefit of using recycled shingles is the reduced waste that goes into landfills thus protecting the environment. Using these shingles also reduces the pollution and energy consumption needed to extract raw materials. As I said before most of these materials are very durable and can last for a span of 50 years or more. You may also find recycled shingles with a good fire rating too which may reduce your home insurance.

Slate tiles

These Eco-friendly roofing materials are popular with people interested in distinct durable roofs with low maintenance. Slate accommodates various roof designs that range from Italianate to Beaux Arts, French and Colonial. The slate is durable but it is very expensive and requires a special installation.

Clay roofing tiles

Clay tiles are equally stylish, durable and easy to keep up with a lifespan of over 50 years. The clay tiles also have excellent fire resistance capability, versatile appearance and good insulation value. Although clay roofing is expensive it is a smart investment. Clay roofing tiles are popular in hot weather climate and do the best in areas that get little precipitation.

Metal Roofing

Metal Eco-friendly roofing materials are on of the best green materials for your home because they are mostly made from recycled materials. They also come in various types ranging from aluminum to copper and steel. They are very durable and lightweight. They also have a high insulation value and they can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

Wood / Cedar shakes

Wood shingles are also popular Eco-friendly materials with many homeowners due to their excellent insulation ability. Although wood shakes are not fire resistance unless treated with other materials, they have other green benefits such as low maintenance costs, low labor, non-toxicity and durability.

Rubber Roofing

Reinforced rubber shingles created from old steel-belted radial tires are other Eco-friendly materials gaining popularity with homeowners. They come in various colors and textures made from ground slate coating. The benefit of roofing with rubber materials is the long life ability that comes with a 50 years warranty. The warranty is even for hail among other extreme conditions. However, before buying rubber roofing materials it is a good idea to check with your area building department to check whether they are permitted.

Watercolor Lesson – Painting From Your Soul

My style of painting is all about feeling – emotion. It’s about capturing that magical moment in time when the truth and sheer beauty of nature makes you catch your breath. You know the one – I think as artists, we have all experienced it. You wander around a garden, your eye is attracted to a flicker of light and you see – for a moment – an enchanting radiance as the light dances across the surface of a petal or glows luminously through a leaf. And you know that you have to capture that joy in your work.

Have you ever gazed at a dewdrop as it emits shards of shimmering refracted light? As it is poised precariously on a petal, the slightest breeze will lift the curtain on the play – and in your mind your can picture the ensuing events. Capturing this moment will bring movement and energy, expectation and life to your painting. I like to get up close – a bees-eye view – and take the viewers of my work right into the character of my subject – I want them to ‘know’ my subject.

I try to take this feeling – this unfolding story, and with it, bring the viewer of my painting into that world – my world – the world inside the frame. To do this, I suggest you analyse what it is about your subject that has you spellbound. Ask yourself – is it the shimmering light, is it the refracted shards, maybe it is the angle the dew drop is on – indicating the breeze has made the stem sway gently causing the dewdrop to lilt. It’s all these things – and the best way to emphasise this is to get up close and personal.

It is an instinctive thing for me and I decided that if I wanted to grow as an artist, I had to learn to analyze what I do and why.

We never stop learning and that’s what is so rewarding about painting. It’s a journey that is forever leading us down new paths, revealing new directions. We must never be afraid to take these paths and experiment. Keep an open mind – try new things. Decide what it is that is the very essence of ‘us’. Now that is what we need to paint. Paint what moves you, and you will feel complete and it will show in your work.

Believe in yourself and paint from your soul. Paint the subjects that you are passionate about. With this combination you will find that not only are you sharing a part of yourself with others, you are stirring emotion in the viewers of your work. It is this that people remember, not how cleverly you have painted something, not how precisely you use your brush. No – it’s the way your vision has reached out of the painting and engaged their emotions, allowed them to become absorbed and bewitched by that moment you have suspended in time.

Peppa Pig Princess Peppas Royal Palace Playset

If your kid loves princesses and the animated character Peppa the Pig, then she'll surely fall in love with one of the Peppa Pig Toys that is already out now, the Peppa Pig Princess Peppas Royal Palace.

One of the Pig's great adventures was when she became a princess and got to know Sir George the Brave. Now your kid can play out this Peppa Pig adventure in real life. With the royal palace play set, any kid can play with the figures included and have endless royal stories to play out.

At first glance of the Royal Palace you will think that it's just an ordinary house which is a miniature version of a palace. You'd think it would only be good as a decoration to your little girl's room. But by unfolding the playset, you will see several rooms where your pig figure and the other accessories included in the set can play in. There are seven rooms in total which include a dining room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, a banquet hall, and a playroom. Aside from the Princess Peppa figure, the set also includes two guards man figure as well as other accessories such as two beds, two thrones for the King and Queen, a bath, stairs, tables, chairs and a cauldron. A number of crowns and jewels are also included in the set.

Because the playset can easily be folded, it can then be easily transported. The set can be folded to become a compact carrying case. Your daughter can bring this toy wherever she goes and she can play with the Princess anytime, anywhere she likes. A trip to her grandmother's will be a great one as she can also show Princess Peppa to her. Beca use of its easily foldable feature, it can also be easily stored. Though your kid will enjoy the palace's big rooms where they can help Princess Peppa bathe, rest or entertain friends, the entire set is not a space-consumer and can easily be folded or kept.

Aside from getting the Peppa Pig Princess Peppas Royal Palace, other Peppa Pig Toys you can get with it are the Family Figure set, royal carriage and DVD. This entire set will surely be enjoyed by your daughter.

The Peppa Pig Princess Family Figure set includes all of the pig family and they're dressed in royal outfits. The Princess can now play with Daddy Pig who's dressed as the King, Mummy Pig as the Queen, Grandma Pig as a Cook, and Grandpa Pig as a magician. The set also includes Sir George the Brave. Princess Peppa will no longer be lonely in her royal palace as the entire family will be there to be with her.

A royal carriage can also be purchased. This way the Princess can be transported to her royal castle with this horse and carriage set. And to relive the fantasy of this cute pig living as a royal princess, you can also purchase the DVD Princess Peppa and Sir George the Brave so that your daughter can watch it as many times as she wants. She can even play the DVD while playing with the Peppa Pig Princess Peppas Royal Palace.

This surely is a great gift to get your kids who truly adore this animated character and who loves princesses. It would be like hitting two birds with one stone. She'll get to play with the playset and pretend being a princess; she'll also get to play with her favorite character. You can get all this in the price of one.

Ocean Facts: Marine Life in the Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the greatest illustration of marine biodiversity in this world with its vibrant population of whales, sharks and fish. That’s why it is very important conserve this diverse marine life through education.

If you would like understand everything with regards to the ocean and marine life, the best place to begin with is the largest ocean on earth, the Pacific Ocean. It covers about 135,663 kilometers of coastline and about 28% of the world’s surface. It stretches through the coastlines of continents such as North America, South America, Asia, and Australia. The Mariana Trench is the deepest portion of any ocean on earth with a depth of 36,201 feet. Numerous islands also dot this wide ocean, which includes Tahiti, Fiji, and Hawaii.

Because of its vastness, the Pacific Ocean is additionally the place to find numerous sea animals. It is one of the most diverse habitats in this world as you’ll find whales, dolphins, fish, and crustaceans here. From the most fearsome sharks to tiny planktons, you will find a diverse assortment of ocean life in this part of the world. This huge number of marine life helps make this ocean among the finest sites for biodiversity on earth.

Just what sorts of sea animals is found in the Pacific? On the topmost tier of the food chain is the whale. The blue, humpback, and sperm whales are just many of the beings which thrive in this ocean. These gentle beings are important in the environment and diversity of the Pacific. Krill, plankton, as well as other tiny fish are a significant part of the diet of the gentle giants, however the killer whale can consume other whales and seals. Sadly, a few of these sea animals are on the brink of extinction.

Various types of sharks also call the Pacific Ocean their home. These kinds of predators are sometimes misrepresented in movies and in books, and this has sometimes added to the species’ vulnerability and near extinction. Its skin comprises of cartilage material (a stuff that is present in human noses and ears), which makes it very hard to cut into.

The Pacific Ocean is also home to a lot of types of fish used in industrial fishing which includes salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Extraordinary kinds of fish such as the Cocinero, Hawaiian ladyfish, and Bering flounder are also found in this ocean. This kind of marine life feeds many people, which is one of the reasons why it is really worth protecting.

The world’s greatest coral reefs are also in the Pacific. These coral reefs are the place to find a diversity of ocean life, which is why a lot of energy is invested in preserving them. Reefs can take thousands of years to develop plus some have even taken up to millions of years to build. The Pacific Ocean is home to wonderful coral reefs such as the ones situated in Australia, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea. These reefs contain huge ocean life which needs to be preserved.

The Pacific Ocean isn’t just a large, blue, and vacant space. It’s full of sea animals as well as other organisms that contribute so much to the harmony in the eco-system. We need to understand the value of the ocean and the marine life for us to learn ways to safeguard our heritage for ourselves and for the future generation. Preserving this vast collection of ocean life needs to be one of the top priorities in our preservation efforts, and education plays a large role in this. With the right education, we may just be able to preserve many of the sea animals on the brink of extinction these days.

Exercises and Workouts – Three Good Reasons To Exercise Early in the Morning

Having trouble fitting exercise into your busy schedule? If so, you aren’t alone. Most people who can’t stick to their workout program often say the number one reason they are struggling to do so is a lack of time.

Whether you get called into meetings that tend to run late after work or you have children who you naturally like to give your time and attention to when you arrive home, there’s no question taking a time-out for your workout can be quite trying. This is why exercising first thing in the morning – no matter how unappealing getting out of your warm bed may be – is a great way to go.

Let’s look at three other reasons early morning workouts deserve some consideration…

1. They’ll Jumpstart Your Metabolic Rate. The first reason to give early morning workouts a try is because they’re an excellent way to boost your metabolic rate. When you exercise first thing in the morning intensely, you’ll get an immediate increase in your total minute by minute calorie burn.

Your metabolic rate can stay elevated for up to 24 to 48 hours depending on the type of workout you’ve just done so this can set you up for better overall fat burning over the rest of the day.

2. They’ll Give You A New Level Of Energy Coffee Will Not. Second, early morning workouts will boost your energy level like nothing you have tried before. If you usually get up and seek out coffee to get moving in the morning, wait until you try early morning workouts. You’ll feel far more energized after a session and may find you’re far more productive at work because of it.

3. Early Morning Workouts Curb Late Night Eating. Finally, doing those early morning workouts could help you curb late night eating. Since you will have to go to bed slightly earlier to help you get up to do the workouts in the morning; this means less time available to spend sitting in front of the TV eating foods you shouldn’t be.

If you struggle with late night eating, these early morning workouts could just do the trick to keep you on track nutrition wise as well.

So there you have some of the main reasons to give early morning workouts a try. While it will take a few weeks for your body to adjust to getting up early and exercising at an early hour, once you’re in your groove, you’ll find you look forward to this time you decide to have for yourself each and every morning.

How to Terminate the Real Estate Contract

A real estate sale is usually initiated by an offer from the buyer to the seller, written on a real estate contract form, and backed by a monetary deposit. If the seller accepts the offer, the buyer and the seller are bound by a legally binding contract. While the forms vary by locality, the essential terms include the offer amount, legal description, names of the parties, and date of closing. In addition to these terms, the contract interweaves numerous contingencies, disclosures of information, and procedures that dictate responsibilities of buyer and seller. The contract is the road map that takes you all the way through to closing. It is very important to understand its terms and follow them carefully. If it becomes necessary to terminate the contract, your close adherence to contract terms and procedures is critical.

Loan Contingency

Your contract may contain a provision that the buyer must be approved for a specific mortgage loan and interest rate. If the mortgage can not be obtained within the prescribed time, the buyer may terminate the contract and receive a refund of deposit. If it becomes necessary to terminate under this contingency, you should be prepared to document that you took prompt action to obtain the loan, received a written rejection, and gave notice to the seller within the time limit set by the contract.

Termination based on credit disapproval is likely to cause anger and disappointment on the part of the seller. The seller may feel that he has been misled into signing a contract with an unqualified buyer. When anger and strong emotions enter into the transaction they may lead to difficulty in resolving the termination.

Title and Survey Review

Contracts usually provide a title review period for the buyer. The buyer may object in writing to defects noted in the title documents. If title defects can not be cured, you have the right to terminate.

In the same vein, the buyer usually has the right to review a survey of the property. If construction is found to overlap building lines, or if there are encroachments on the property, you may choose to terminate your contract.
It is worthwhile to promptly consult an attorney if you have some concerns about the title documents or survey. Your objection to title or survey problems must be made in writing within the time frame allowed by the contract.

Review of Seller's Disclosure

In Texas, sellers (with some exceptions) are required by law to provide a seller's disclosure notice to the buyer. On this form, the seller answers questions and provides information about the property. If the buyer receives the form after the contract has been created, he may terminate the contract within a certain number of days after receiving the seller's disclosure. The receipt date of the disclosure should be documented in order to establish the start date of the review period. Be careful to avoid confusion about when a time period starts running.

Mandatory HOA Review

In areas where there is a mandatory homeowners association, the Texas contract allows the buyer a period of time to review Subdivision Information. This information is normally supplied by the HOA manager after the contract is created. After receipt, the buyer has the right to review the documents, and possibly terminate the contract. Again, the termination notice must be given within the time limits in the contract.

Inspection Contingency

Contract procedures to allow the buyer to conduct inspections of the property vary from region to region. In some areas, the buyer may terminate if repairs exceed a pre-agreed dollar amount, and seller declines to make the additional repairs. In Texas, the buyer is allowed an "option period," during which time he has the unrestricted right to terminate the contract. Inspections are done within the option period.

Inspection issues are the most common reason for contract termination. During the inspection period, there is usually some re-negotiation of the price or terms in order to resolve repair issues that have been brought up by inspections. It is crucial to get inspections done, deliver repair requests, and negotiate contract amendments, or, if necessary, terminate the contract, all within the time guidelines set by the contract.

Contingency for Sale of Other Property

In some cases the buyer may have a contingency for the sale of a certain property, usually the buyer's current home. If this property does not close by a certain date, the buyer may have to terminate. As with other termination procedures, giving notice to the seller within the required time is critical. By allowing this type of contingency the seller has accepted the risk that the contract may not close.

Lead Paint Contingency

Federal law requires that sellers of homes built prior to 1978 notify the buyer of any knowledge or inspections that they may have regarding lead paint. The buyers are allowed a period of time to review materials and conduct their own inspections. If lead paint is found, the buyer may terminate the contract within the prescribed time frame.

We have touched on the most common termination clauses in standard real estate contracts in Texas. Contracts used in other states, or provided by builders for new homes, or written by an attorney for a particular transaction will vary greatly in the contingencies and terminations clauses included. In addition, there may be ways to terminate your particular contract, other than through contingency clauses.

The important thing to remember is that the contract of sale is of primary importance to the real estate transaction. If you follow the terms of the contract and act within time limits, you may exercise the termination rights that the contract contains. If you fail to follow the terms, most contracts state that you have waived the right to terminate.

After you have given the seller notice of termination, two closely related steps must follow: The parties must formally terminate the contract, and the earnest money deposit must be released. If the buyer and seller agree to the termination, their agreement is usually formalized by signing a termination form. In Texas we have an "earnest money release" form that handles both steps – it releases the parties from further obligations under the contract, and instructs the escrow company to give the deposit to one party or the other. It is usually in the best interest of all parties to resolve the earnest money and contract termination issues as soon as possible.

If the buyer and seller can not agree that the contract is terminated, the matter could lead to prolonged negotiation and possibly, litigation. In most cases, it is in the seller's best interest to have formal termination of the contract, freeing him to put the property back on the market. However, occasionally, even when it is clear that the buyer has followed contract procedures, the seller may prolong the formal termination process. The seller may want to receive compensation from the buyer for the delay in selling the property. Buyer and seller may have conflicting points of view of the issue. The non- settlement of termination issues can result in additional time and money, and cause unwanted stress.

Most buyers do not enter a real estate contract with the intention of terminating. However, buyers must not take for granted that all will go as expected. If a contingency date lapses, you will lose the benefit and protection of the contingency. A good Realtor, in addition to helping you find the property, can be invaluable in helping you to meet your obligations under the contract and, if necessary, exercise your right to terminate.

Disclaimer: This article is provided as a service to the public. Nothing in this article is intended to serve as legal advice, or as a substitute for legal advice tailored to your specific situation and jurisdiction. If you have a question about an issue discussed in this article, you should consult an attorney directly.